In response to a case of Hepatitis A in a food handler at Alta restaurant in the West Village, the Health Department today urges patrons who ate dessert at the restaurant between March 23rd and April 2nd to get Hepatitis A vaccination as a precautionary measure. Hepatitis A is spread by putting something in your mouth (even though it might look clean) that has been contaminated with traces of fecal matter from an infected person. Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea.

Any patron who ate dessert at Alta from March 23rd – April 2nd is considered at risk and is recommended to receive a preventive vaccine. The Health Department is working with the restaurant to obtain as many names as possible of people who may have been exposed and will contact each of them directly. Patrons can also call 311 for more information.

The restaurant owners, who are cooperating fully with the Health Department, estimate that about 3,000 people may have visited on these nights with about 15% having eaten dessert. No additional cases of illness have been identified.

People can visit their regular doctor to receive this shot. Pregnant women are urged to consult with their doctor to discuss whether to receive vaccine or a different preventive treatment. The Health Department will also offer free Hepatitis A vaccinations to patrons starting tomorrow at the Chelsea Health Center, 303 Ninth Avenue, 1st Floor in Manhattan at the following times:

Saturday, April 6: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, April 7: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Monday, April 8: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.